Philosophy Answer Writing Practice - Week 3 - Question 1

90 Days Philosophy Answer Writing Practice Question 1 for 18-Dec-2017

Instructions for Writing Answer

1. Write your answers in the comment section.

2. Experts will provide their feedback in reply.

3. Model Answers will be uploaded on this page next day.

4. Rectify your mistakes and progress further.

5. All the Best.

18-Dec-2017 - Question 1

What is Antinomy? Describe the major antinomies discussed by Kant. (250)

Model Answer

Antinomy, in philosophy, contradiction, real or apparent, between two principles or conclusions, both of which seem equally justified; it is nearly synonymous with the term paradox. Immanuel Kant, the father of critical philosophy, in order to show the inadequacy of pure reason in the field of metaphysics, employed the word antinomies in elaborating his doctrine that pure reason generates contradictions in seeking to grasp the unconditioned. He resolved the four antinomies by drawing a distinction between phenomena (things as they are known or experienced by the senses) and noumena (things in themselves). Kant insisted that we can never know the noumena, for we can never get beyond phenomena. These antinomies are four: two "mathematical" and two "dynamical".

The Mathematical Antinomies

The First Antinomy (of Space and Time)

  • Thesis: The world has a beginning in time, and is also limited as regards space.
  • Anti-thesis: The world has no beginning, and no limits in space; it is infinite as regards both time and space.
The Second Antinomy (of Atomism)
  • Thesis: Every composite substance in the world is made up of simple parts, and nothing anywhere exists save the simple or what is composed of the simple.
  • Anti-thesis: No composite thing in the world is made up of simple parts, and there nowhere exists in the world anything simple.
The Dynamical Antinomies

The Third Antinomy (of Spontaneity and Causal Determinism)

  • Thesis: Causality in accordance with laws of nature is not the only causality from which the appearances of the world can one and all be derived. To explain these appearances, it is necessary to assume that there is also another causality, that of Spontaneity.
  • Anti-thesis: There is no Spontaneity; everything in the world takes place solely in accordance with laws of nature.
The Fourth Antinomy (of Necessary Being or Not)
  • Thesis: There belongs to the world, either as its part or as its cause, a being that is absolutely necessary.
  • Anti-thesis: An absolutely necessary being nowhere exists in the world, nor does it exist outside the world as its cause.
In the 20th century, more specific suggestions for resolving the antinomies arose. Because the philosophical significance of these possible resolutions continues to be debated, however, the force of Kant s case against pure reason is yet to be assessed.
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